How Much Should You Spend on a GPU?

– Hey guys, this is Austin What is the best budget graphics card? So in this sort of $150 to $200 range, in my opinion, is often where a lot of the value is

Sure, the awesome RTX and Radeon VII graphics cards of the world are cool, but not everyone wants to spend $700 to $1,000 on a brand new GPU, which begs the question, if you are trying to get something that is reasonable, that is aimed at 1080p gaming, which of these cards makes the most sense? Starting out with, we have the GeForce GTX 1650 at $150 This guy is a baby brother to those bigger RTX cards in pretty much every aspect Sure, the performance is lower, but it is based on that same Turing architecture just minus the RTX stuff With a 75-watt TDP, it does mean that you can easily sort of plug this into pretty much any kind of prebuilt or whatever because it does not need any kind of external power Next up we have the AMD option, which is the RX 570

Now it's hard to believe that even though this is the cheapest card here at $130, it is also really, really old at this point The RX 570 originally came out two years ago, and the underlying Polaris GPU is almost three years old And yet don't let that fool you With the price cuts that this has recently seen, especially over the last year or so, it actually should be fairly competitive still Spend a little bit more and you can pick up the Radeon RX 580

Now again, it is an older GPU, although this Strix card does have a lot of advantages including not only does it have a full eight gigs of RAM, more than any of these other cards, it has a much, much beefier heat sink Last but certainly not least we have the GTX 1660 Now at $220, NVIDIA has positioned this as the ultimate 1080p card And with six gigs of RAM, it does, at least on paper, seem to be more powerful than anything here But my real question is with the budget between $140 and $220, what is the best bang for your buck? So to test, we have a fairly high end system

So this is the streaming PC that we built a little over a year ago, and inside it does have a stock speed but still very powerful Ryzen 7 2700X paired with 16 gigs of memory, fast SSD, all that kind of stuff But the really important thing here is the graphics card, and we're gonna start out with the 1650 So I wanna do a fairly decent job of kind of showing a wide range of gameplay So right now, I'm gonna start with Apex and I'm gonna start here with everything maxed out at 1080p So this is the way I assume most people will play with a card like the 1650, well, if you can actually keep up

Yeah, I got somebody ♪ Na na na na na ♪ I finally got someone without a gun This is like me all the time Yeah! So the 1650 actually gives pretty solid performance I mean, we're not locked at 60 here, but we're in the low 50s to mid 50s

Wow, I'm dead I got to say the 1650 is not a bad to 1080p card so far I mean, we're in pretty much the low 60s to high 50s Very playable on epic settings Now mind you, if we try to push it a little higher, I don't think it would hold up so well, but at least for lighter game such as Fortnite, this seems to be pretty doable

And something you have to consider is that this is the lowest powered card of the group So one of the nice things is that if you actually really wanna say, upgrade a prebuilt or something, or even if you have like the most beefy power supply, this should in theory fit in pretty much anything including a very small mini ITX system Our next game is a little bit more demanding It is Black Ops 4 Now this is an excellent PC port, and this is one of the very few times where we actually start to run into the bottleneck of having only four gigs of RAM on the 1650 and the 570

So with texture quality set to very high and everything else set to ultra or high 1080p, we're actually going a little bit over four gigs Now we could bump down to high, which puts us just right underneath the cap, but that's a pretty big issue Four gigs of RAM is, generally speaking, enough for these cards But as time goes on, something like six or eight gigs of RAM like the other more expensive cards have could very well be a major advantage For now though, we're gonna go with very high settings and see how much that bottlenecks the 1650

So things do seem to work here, but the issue is that we do see a little bit of a frame rate drop sometimes So generally speaking, we're in the 40s to 50s, but every once in a while, it does start to dip into the high 30s And you can see, if you look at the VRAM, we're in the four-plus gigabyte range, which means it's definitely pushing this card pretty hard Yeah, we're up here in the chopper, look at that, 34, 35? I mean, sure we could definitely get a smooth 60 if we turn some settings down, but that's not the point I mean, all these cards should, in theory, be capable of 1080p on pretty much max

And some of these cards might even be able to go beyond that So the fact that we're in the 30s to 40s doesn't bode so well for the 1650 So the most demanding here is there's no problem I'm getting a solid 80 fps But as soon as I walk outside and see a whole lot more geometry, I mean

This area is just simple Literally walking by these trees tanks my fps Look up to the sky, oh there's no problem

But as soon as I actually see any real geometry, it drops pretty heavily What is that? I'm not gonna say this is unplayable, but Black Ops could and probably will run a lot better on the other cards It's funny, put the RX 570 in and I can immediately tell it's a much more power hungry card because I'm getting like toasted here I couldn't even feel anything with the 1650 All right, oh no you don't, wow, are you serious? Bro, no, no man

No, yeah! (chuckles) This does seem to perform better I'm actually kind of surprised because this is a cheaper graphics card Yeah, it's going to be definitely not as power efficient, but we're talking about something that is $20 less expensive and yet I'm pretty close to a locked 60 Yeah, it drop a little bit from time to time, but I mean, especially when I'm indoors, I'm like 70 So let's get out and get some, look at that, 65, 66

It's not a huge difference, but I actually might give a slight win here to the RX 570 I would give a giant loss to myself because I'm about to die Oh, I'm actually in the game? Oh damn, I'm in game game, okay All right, performance seems to be pretty similar to be honest We're still in the low to mid 60s for the most part, which is very much where the 1650 was

We might be a few frames ahead, but I don't know, there doesn't seem to be any kind of significant difference here That being said, since this is a cheaper card, you would expect it not perform as well So yeah, there's a fair bit of stuff going on here and we're still 63, 64 Yeah, no, I think the 570 has an advantage So last time on the 1650, we were actually dipping into the mid to low 30s and 40s

Here, I'm not seeing that at all I mean, we're still solid above 60 I need to definitely get into some action So what's interesting with the 570 is that it has the same VRAM limitation which means that in Black Ops, we should be seeing some major dips, but I really haven't seen that yet We actually haven't even dipped below 60

Now I'm sure once I get into some action, I'll see it start to dip a little bit But I mean, on the 1650, we were in that 35 to 40 frames per second range pretty quickly The fact that this card is $130 is properly impressive I mean, pretty much everything we've thrown at it comes close to hitting 60 fps, and we're talking $130 Mind you that is with an expensive Ryzen CPU, but I don't think we're really severely CPU bottlenecked in any of these games

Look at that Now we jump up to the RX 580, we are stepping up the price point So previously we were looking at 130 to 150 bucks, but now we do have $180 graphics card here But I'm noticing a performance difference So where the other two were in the 60-ish range, for the most part, we're actually well above that, at least in the 70s, if not in the 80s here

The other advantage that the RX 580 has is it does have a full eight gigs of RAM Now I do believe there are still some SKUs of the 580 with four gigs, and those are probably fine But considering it's not a huge price penalty to go up, it probably makes sense Honestly, even with max settings, this is slight overkill I mean, we're not even like, the bottom end is still

I haven't gone below 60 yet Fortnite seems to be a decent game for the 580, so I am seeing our frame rates being a little bit higher, probably close to that 75 to 80 range Not a massive difference between the 570 though

I mean, yeah, it's a few extra frames but not enough to make any significant difference So one of the more interesting things about this 580 is that even though it's not the most expensive card here, it does have the most memory with a full eight gigs Now most games aren't really taking a huge advantage of it, but here on Black Ops, this is actually a game that will pretty much eat up as much VRAM as you can sort of give it So right now, we're at 63, 6

4, but essentially it will continue to max out until you're literally full, and then it'll start cycling things through So it'll always be able to use more and more RAM if you actually have it, which is an advantage for the 580 And performance wise, this is much better (laughs) The 580 is a pretty big jump though I feel pretty confident in saying that we're getting minimum of like 80, 85

And a lot of times, we're close to like 90 in here Look at this, we're above 100 frames per second while we're running around here Like, 1080p is not even remotely a challenge So over to the 1660, Apex is immediately running really well So first glance, 90 to 100 fps or so

And I guess, to be fair, if you're playing on a 60 hertz display, you probably wouldn't notice a massive difference But if you're playing at those higher resolutions or especially if you can take advantage of the higher frame rate, I mean, the 1660 is no joke It should be no surprise that Fortnite is no problem for the 1660 We're generally in the 80 to 90 frames per second range, which is especially, on epic settings, is pretty solid I mean, this is totally smooth, no issues

This card really does feel like you could probably aim 1440p in a lot of games Yeah, we're pretty solid in the 100-plus fps range right now So it's actually kind of impressive that we have a $220 graphics card, which does deliver like more than 1080p performance, right? I mean, if you're playing on a normal 1080p monitor, which I assume is most people at this point, you really won't get much more beyond going with something like a 1660, which is really nice So if we get into some benchmarks to really put these four graphics card side by side, there's a pretty clear list of winners So the 1650 by far takes the lead, but that 580 and the 570 aren't massively behind

And interestingly, the 1650 is even behind that 570, which does make sense, right? I mean, it was not as powerful in any of the games and the benchmark absolutely holds that out Right now, you should not buy the 1650 I mean, yeah, it's a low power card, it's nice and small But beyond that, for $150, the performance just doesn't match up In fact, one of my favorite cards in this entire group is actually the Radeon 570

Yeah, the cheapest card here, the one that's the oldest is actually still completely playable here in 2019 For $130, you cannot beat this, at least not right now until there's like a 1650 price cut If you wanna take a step up from the 570, I do think the next logical step is the 1660 Sure it is more expensive, but you're getting a good jump in performance But regardless, I think these are really the cards that you should consider

The 580 is okay, and the 1650 is well, don't buy it I really do feel like the 570 though is probably the sweet spot for gaming right now This a lot of power for 130 bucks (uplifting music)

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